BLOG ARCHIVE 2016
Wednesday, 23 November 2016
*THANKSGIVING PREVIEW & SAVINGS*
WELL! It's been quite the Summer and Autumn and being busy, constantly. Acres of “farm” and lawn to maintain, and “the harvest” is now complete, thanks, in great part, to the snows that bombarded us on Monday. Although not according the calendar, Winter has arrived, and the world seems to have started its sleep. There's something quite beautiful about this season, when sound is muffled, and we move from “Technicolour” to black-and-white. It's a season when the shadows play the most significant role, like an old Alfred Hitchcock movie. The cold winds snap against one's face, as a reminder that stoicism is an integral part of mere survival. But, for the most part, it feels invigorating. The secret to survival is to keep moving... just keep moving.
It's also a season where, for the aware, thoughts turn to those considered “less fortunate”. As most of us hunker down in our houses and homes, a cup of hot cocoa, tea or coffee, some beside a crackling fire, or at gayly-trimmed tables, in the company of friends and loved-ones, there are others who hurry to gather bits of old fabric, tarps, discarded clothing and the likes, creating make-shift shelters against the cold winds and snows... desperately seeking highway over-passes, abandoned old buildings, and in the more rural spaces of this world, stands of pines or other protective vegetation. The “Homeless”. The more fortunate of these take to the public shelters, relegating themselves and their freedoms to the routine and regimens, the dictates of strangers, some of whom acre concerned and compassionate and others who truly, no matter how one twists the facts, honestly have little or no care at all. To some people, caring for and about the Homeless is an exercise and extension of human-kindness, love and compassion, a gift of giving of one's self, time and being. And sadly, to others, it's an industry, a business, a money-maker, and Homeless people are nothing but a commodity to ensure the continued circulation of cash. Nothing more, nothing less... nothing, really, at all.
As I type this, tomorrow is the “holiday” of “Thanksgiving”, the day of reflection on the gifts of life that have been bestowed upon us. It's a day of giving “thanks”, expressing gratitude for food, clothing, shelter, friends, family and the likes. It's a day of gathering together with cherished others, to share and partake in good food, drink, conversation and company. It's the entrance into the season of Christmas, Chanukah, celebration, lights, music, traditions and for some, religious observances of praises to a “divine”.
It's also a day of reminder: to the Homeless, it's a reminder that people are, to society-at-large, worth considerably less than stray animals. Odd to think and know that a dog or cat gone to a “shelter”, stands a better chance of being seen and brought into a loving house-hold and family than a human being. “Shelter”... where animals are concerned, the hearts of many soften and ache. Adults and children go to animal shelters where they hasten to bring a little creature into their arms, hearts and homes, and rejoice in their newly-adopted friend, or, as some will say “family member”. How often doe we hear:
“He's not just a dog... he's my best friend.”
“She's not just a cat... she's my companion, my child.”
But “Shelter”... for the Homeless? Ah, now THAT'S a place where the lazy, the failures, the good-for-nothings turn to snatch hand-outs, and to lay about, hidden from sight and view. Drug addicts and alcoholics, the mentally ill, derelicts and dregs, the worthless. The Homeless, the irresponsible whom we don't want littering our side-walks, defiling our public transport, disgusting “proper society” and certainly do NOT want ANY-WHERE around our houses, homes, neighbourhoods.
Well, truth be known, much to the chagrin and disbelief of a truly vast majority, in those Homeless Shelters are dignified, hard-working, ambitious and productive ... PEOPLE... HUMAN BEINGS... who, for what-ever reason, have come upon some of the hardest times any and all of us could experience. True, there are some who fall into the categories and descriptives mentioned. There's do denying that there are those who prefer the life of living on the dole and those who live afflicted by and with physical and mental ailments and illnesses. But there are those too, over-looked, intentionally, by society and media, who strive, harder than the rest, to maintain personal respectability, proper esteem, human dignity. And sadly, the hard-working who've met with a multitude of circumstances un-known to the rest, that have weighed them down... and out. It's easier to ignore, turn a blind eye, deaf ear and dead heart toward those whom, on a daily basis, we meet and encounter as we drift along in banal routine. AND... in this season of holiday reverie, nobody realises that the Homeless can be all around. The “Working Homeless” are very much a part of everyday living.
As you scurry about with holiday gift-buying, keep in mind:
A store clerk on the shopping floor, the person at the cash register, the teller at the banque, the wait-person at the café and restaurant, that “customer service representative” on the phone, the person you contact for the mail-order gift buy, the person who hands you your morning news paper... and so, SO many MORE very well could be... Homeless... “Working Homeless”, holding jobs that pay into the taxes that provide for and support you, your town or city, your schools, maintain your roads and so much more.
And as you sit to table, surrounded by good people you hold dear, keep in mind: There are others who pile snow and carve a space into which they crawl with the hopes of confining only body warmth to protect them. There are others who hunt for the random and stray bits of cloth and clothing into which they'll bundle themselves, hunched against themselves, against cold and bitter winds, snows and cold rains... alone. And as you partake in carefully prepared meals and beverages, steaming meats and vegetables, just out-side your door, there are those who are hungry, alone, un-seen and silent.
An example? The “Thanksgiving” day and “Christmas” day excerpts of the book “Journal Days” that I'm making available here, at no cost other than a click and the time it will take to glance, glean, read and learn. You can CLICK HERE to view the samples provided right here and now. And if you're of a human heart and spirit, truly and honestly you owe it to yourself to learn the prelude and epilogue of the facts behind those who are generally discarded, viewed as little more or even less than common trash. There are MONTHS of record in the rest of the book, not written ABOUT Homelessness and Homeless people but written BY the Homeless... first-hand, personal and direct accounts. Not mere conjecture or speculation, but actual accounts of daily existence, from the moment of walking out of and away from “home” to regaining a new footing, and walking back into a new life.
AND for those who follow and engage in social media, I present a SPECIAL GIFT for these holidays: 50% off the regular price of the book! Half-price! Less than the generally acceptable “Secret Santa” dollar limit. (And comparatively, if you were to print “Journal Days” on two-sided sheets of standard copy paper, it would give you over 400 pages which is about an entire package. If “Journal Days” were to be published as a book, you'd have well nearly 800 pages in standard book-size paper. Even in the bulk-discount stores, this price is FAR LESS than most hard-cover editions... and instead of much of the price paid going to the production of more copies, money being distributed to dissociated corporate entities, your purchase goes directly to the author/maker and, in turn, helps to provide for those who need most... those whom you will probably never meet or see... and if you're so blessed... never “be”. If you're on Twitter or Gab, you can find me there and I've posted a “discount code” that will slash 50% off the listed price. AND... you can SHARE that code, with friends and others so that they too can benefit. Check the “On-Line” page here to connect and get your code to save. It's a limited-time offer.. for the holidays. It's my way of encouraging you to read and learn and hopefully open your hearts and minds... It's my way of thanking you for taking an interest... It's my way of hoping that more people will better understand that the Homeless are people... human beings... just as you, the readers are.
And in closing, one extremely important note: Remember always that amongst those Homeless you see or read about are veterans who risked their own lives, jobs, homes and comforts to ensure that you have the opportunity to sit warmly happily and comfortably at tables full of good, hot, healthy food and drink, laughing and singing with god friends and loved-ones... while they, the Homeless vets, sit on lonely benches, huddle under buses or trees, alone.
Happy Holidays to you all... ALL holidays, and thank you, always and from the heart, for your compassion.
Friday, 7 October 2016
*PREVIEW THE NEW RELEASE*
After the publication of "Bitter-sweet Bitterness" and "Journal Days" the response has been unanimous: "You ended the book leaving us to wonder what happened next! Going through all of that, getting to an airport and that's the end! What happened after that?"
Well, it's been almost 5 years later, the follow-up has been in the works, though, admittedly, not with the due respect, time and attention. But it's moving along more rapidly now and it appears that, although it won't make the "Summer Reading List" for 2016, when the snows fly out-side your window for Winter 2016-2017, you'll have a journey to venture on, in the comfort of your easy-chair, with a nice hot cup of comfort food.
To get you started, I've put out the beginning pages to give you an idea of where the next chapters are heading. Click-through here to the "Promos and Previews" page and down-load your copy from there.
One very large favour I have to ask though: When you've read this excerpt, please come back and let me know your thoughts and ideas? There's a "Contact and Comments" page here where you can either post to the public or contact me directly, as you choose. But I truly, honestly and sincerely AM interested in your reactions and responses. The manuscript is still in the works, so you can suggest and recommend what you'd like to read about in it.
(And a note: to my Twitter-folks who follow me there, indeed, you and responders will be afforded a "special" when the book is released, so find and follow me on Twitter, follow this blog here too. I don't work very much or often on Facebook, but as you can see from the links "On-line" here, yes, I have a page there, but again, I don't visit that one often. Twitter was my shining star back in the "shelter days" and remains my primary means of communicating, yes, even after all these years, with some of the dearest people on Earth.)
Thanks always, for your support. Enjoy the new excerpt and know that I'll be looking forward to seeing from you about it and the new book!
Happy Autumn to those of you who're getting that. And Happy Spring to those of you on that side of our great planet.
PREVIEW: CLICK HERE
Thursday, 15 September 2016
ANNOUNCING: A NEW BOOK!
So... you want to write right. Right?
Yes, ANOTHER book! Just released today, available at the usual place: (link)
What's this one about? Well, for those of you who've read the others, this one is quite different. This one was written with would-be and could-be and should-be authors in mind. Light, breezy, easy to read, and quick too! Only 17 pages long in stead of the 800-plus of the previous books.
I got to thinking, recently, about how I got started with writing, and trying to publish and sell my own books and the trials and tribulations I went through during my “maiden voyage”. It wasn't the easiest set of lessons to be learned, I can tell you that much. Originally, I'd hoped that I could go the tried, true and “old school” route of writing and publishing nice, hard-cover books, printed nicely on paper, attractive dust jackets and the likes. WELL! Was I ever shocked to learn just how much I'd have to invest up front BEFORE I'd ever see even one copy of the finished work! THOUSANDS of dollars! I mean, HEY! I'm a beginning writer. I don't have all that cash sitting about with nothing to do but collect dust. So, sadly, that idea went into the bin with all the writes and re-writes.
Next brain flash was: Paperback. OK. So I looked into that. And again, there it was, staring me in my drawn and fatigued face: the dollar sign. Hundreds or thousands to be invested and again, little or nothing to show for a while. The horizon grew darker as the dream began to fade. There was, it seemed, no way that I'd ever get anything any farther away from me than to click and save and archive a work that had taken over 16 month to write, years to transcribe into computer files (“word” documents, digital data files) and even more months to edit and more years to get into a format that could be published! “Bummer”. Eh? Pfoot! My lights went out, my heart went to snooze, I poured another hot tea, sat in the corner chair and waited to doze off and away from the reality: I wasn't going to happen...
Then came the notion: Why not waive the paper and wave good-bye to the “tome”? Folks I knew were all into the latest: “Readers”... digital books... “e-books”. There was something almost repulsive about the very notion of creating an “electronic” book. I'm a “bibliophile”. I CRAVE the soothing joy of sitting comfy in a chair, on the bed, or in the yard, with a wonderful little companion... my “book”. I LOVE being able to finish a volume and put it carefully on the shelf to view and admire and boast to friends who ask “Have you read ALL of those?”, “Well of course I have. I wouldn't buy a book if I didn't intend reading it.” But friends and acquaintances were telling me that it's almost insane to collect all that paper and cardboard and glue and ink, even if it IS bound in “handsome leather” or “pure linen”, embossed in 24 carat gold. “E-books” are IN! “Look here!” they beckoned, “I can carry 25 of my most favourite authors right here, on this little device, and I don't even know I have them with me!” Yes indeed, those “devices” hold LIBRARIES, and weigh mere ounces (grams?), take up no more space than a magazine and can be carried about hither and yon with no effort.
Right then, maybe it was time I stopped growing older and started to grow up. If electronic books are the desire of the day, and I WANT to release my creativity, get my messages out there, spew the news and reach the multitudes, maybe yes, it was time to toss the papers and bring in the e-stuff. What have I got to lose by trying? If I go for it and like it, I keep going with it. If I go for it and hate it, I can wipe the slate clean, jot a note to self in my memory and never return to it. I'll DO IT! And I did.
So what happened with the first book? The adventure is described in this new book, just out today, but suffice to say, it was everything from fascinating to humiliating. I went to the popular venue, believing I'd hit the current “best” market of “readers” and “reader devices”. Thankfully, I'd had my manuscript in a “ready to publish” state and format... or so I thought. I registered on-line with a nice little account, read all of the instructions and suggestions and terms and policies and so on and so forth and blah blah blah. I did my own “cover art” (because I was informed that I'd need it... you know... the “digital” form of a “dust jacket”) which took quite a while but, I have to say, thrilled me. Next step was to “up-load” it all to the seller's site. OK? OK. Point. Click. Drag. Drop. Zippie-zippie and away!
“Dear Sir/Madame New Member:
CONGRATULATIONS! Your up-load was a success. It will now be reviewed by our reviewing staff and you will be notified further upon completion of our review. Meanwhile, please up-date your bio and particulars.
From that point on, things got pretty involved... more-so than I expected. There was a “waiting period” of 24 hours or so or more before the book went “live” and was available. Then there was the problem where my formatting got thrown into the “processor” and came out looking like somebody'd hit the thing with a run-amok train. As I say in this new book, had I not known how to “code” a web page, it would have NEVER come back together! Imagine; I'd written and typed and edited and such and now I found I had to “code” it all so that it appeared the way I'd intended. What do people who DON'T know how to “code” do? Oh well... I moved along, left the book where it was when it was finally cleaned and re-submitted (and re-reviewed for another 24 hours) and, pretty much, I left it where it was: on the “ether shelves” where it would await the welcoming fingers of an “e-readership”.
I learned that I had to do my own advertising too. Social media, printed cards, e-mails, graphics, notices... you name it. I'd get paid for each book sale, but the seller would, of course, deduct a fee simply for holding the e-tome on a computer where it took only e-space. No perks. No frills. No much of anything. Instead of having time to get to the next book I wanted to write, I was creating advertising, trying to find markets for and of markets, searching and trying to learn!
At long last, and almost by Fate, I finally found the answer! Yes, I'd still have to notify the general public of books and such. Yes, I'd still have to make my own little graphics and the likes. BUT, instead of the book being directed at one, specific, almost elitist group, NOW my heart's work could and would and is available to... THE WORLD! AND, through a service that not only helps and supports me in my efforts but has PEOPLE WHO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH ME!
THIS is what this new book is all about. It's the nuts and bolts and all the questions you had but were afraid to ask or didn't know you should ask. Well, maybe not “all”, but it IS the foundation for every “To-Be Author” today. It's the preliminaries folks need to know before they get entangled and maybe disappointed. It's true, factual and supportive. But even more important: It's an easy read, not expensive, and light. (There's also a “Special Offer” on it where-by it can be FREE*!)
SO stop by the “On-line Store” and check into it. Maybe YOU don't want to be an author, but maybe you know somebody who does. Do him/her a kindness: give the gift of sanity... give a copy.
And as always, if you do read it, I invite you with open mind, heart and arms to come back here and drop a line on the “Comments” page. Please, let me know your thoughts and if you work with it, send me your own “I've Done It!”
(*This book is being offered FREE to people who buy “Journal Days” from now through the end of 2016. When you purchase “Journal Days” you'll receive a “CODE” that you can use to get your FREE copy. * There will be other offers on my Twitter account as well, so “Follow” and watch for them. *)
Extra note: If you're considering becoming an author, or are already an author, or know somebody who wants to become an author, or already is an author and all of you are looking for a truly wonderful publishing experience, click the button below and check the wonderful packages and services offered. I can promise you: You will NOT be disappointed and you might just be amazed.
Monday, 12 September 2016
GREAT NEWS FOR INDIE AUTHORS AND SELF-PUBLISHERS
Have you got a story, being repeated in your soul, that's yearning to be set free, to be told to the world? Maybe you have ideas for a children's book, packed with your own art-work, waiting to delight the young folks or to help teach them skills and facts they'll need to thrive as they grow. Is there something you've learned how to do, and you've looked for instructional materials on your new-found talent and can't find a word on it? Or a collection of your Gran'mum's recipes that you've cherished your life-time and want to preserve and share among as many others as possible?
No matter what it might be, I know that the cost of publishing can be horrifying! Even daunting and discouraging.
Well, no longer, no further and no more.
Two points to give you strength and encouragement are here for you and for you to share around that just might change your mind and possibly change your life!
The first: In short order, I'll be publishing a "How To" e-book detailing my own experience with the world of publishing. Easy and pleasant to read, not over-whelming, it's a brief history of how I got started, some of the pitfalls I encountered from publishing a "mess" through the "clean-up" and ultimately finding what I truly believe to be the perfect method of self-publishing. Watch here and on my social media accounts for the news of the "New Release", coming quite soon. (Note well: There will be special offers to those who purchase one of my other books, as well as those who are on the social media platforms that I've listed on the "On-Line" page on this site. Check back rather regularly or "Subscribe"/"Follow" me to keep current and to receive notices as they're posted.)
The second and probably MOST important bit of news: As a bit of "insider information" I couldn't be happier to give you, dear Readers, a bit of a secret. For those of you who are working a manuscript at present, for those of you who have considered a private career in writing, and especially for those of you who've already begun your research into "Publishing" and have been discouraged by the basic cost and the logistics of delivering your work to the world, I'm truly excited to present your solution, your answer, and probably your dream come true. From publishing to selling, I HAVE to tell you that from the very beginning of my own step into the realm of "Indie Author" and "self-publisher", an on-line service called Selz.com" has been and remains my greatest asset, hands down and no question about it. You owe it to yourself and your endeavours to, at least, check into them. (And note: They don't just deal with books and publishing. They cover a vast array of entrepreneurial help and services!)
To visit their site, simply click on the little "button" below and explore all they have to offer. You'll never regret one moment or "click".
Tuesday, 28 June 2016
As time moves forward and the days and months pass, with the politics of our current tense, I can't help but recall and refer back to these days in the Shelter. In particular, the year 2008 and the down-right prophetic statements made by so many of the "Homeless". When I see the violence today, I can't avoid hearing, in mind and heart, the words of the "resident imam" on the 5th floor, and on the day of Obama's election, the stranger who came to me, with venomous glares, shoving the "Daily News" into my face and violently poking the photo of Obama on the front page, spewing "Your life as you've known it is dead! WE run things now!"
And then, just this morning, I look at the statistics of the numbers of Homeless in New York City alone and the truly amazing RISE in the numbers of people in the shelters on any given night.. and this, these "stats" are only for NYC, only ONE city in the U.S.A.! Imagine: almost every major city in the country has at least one "Homeless Shelter" in it. These figures are only for one city. The rise in the number of Homeless people, over a period of 8 years is, well, nothing less than "impressive", to say the very least.
All the while, "Journal Days" (and "Bitter-Sweet Bitterness") are the record(s) of facts and actualities of daily existence for these THOUSANDS. The good days, the bad days, friendships and battles.
Homelessness is caused by many different factors: financial, medical and even Nature. We have "market crashes", unemployment (jobs being out-sourced), catastrophic illnesses such as cancer, and of late, wild fires and floods. So-called "refugees" literally invade countries that cannot attend the needs of their own citizens and place demands on governments and citizenry, pushing and shoving other-wise settled people and families to their bring... and beyond. And it never ceases to amaze me at just how few are interested, concerned or even care about the Homeless, living day-to-day, in constant denial of one very important fact: NONE of us knows if or when Homelessness will strike.
The stories of the Homeless have been written and published, available for all to read... learn... be educated and prepared.
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
I have to say that this is quite the honour. This screen-shot is from today and indeed, it's truly wonderful to be recognised for all the difficult work that's gone into these two volumes. Honestly, I am, with heart and soul, most grateful (and rather impressed too, I have to say, at the lay-out and design). I hope many of you who haven't done-so yet, will take the soonest opportunity to read either, although, for most folks, I have to personally recommend Journal Days. It's the same content but the "raw" has been "cooked" a bit and the sharpness of Bitter-Sweet Bitterness has been dulled.
NOTE: There's a ***SPECIAL OFFER TO *TWITTER* USERS!
So if you're on Twitter, look me up and look it up!
Wednesday 9 March 2016
It was dark. Dark, something like the hours just passed the full sun-set. It was warm, comfortable. I was Homeless, of sorts, living on The Bronx River. I had a little some-kind-of-shed or something. Like a bungalow or something. But I was clean, fine, I'd been there a while and it was fine.
Mama came to see me, to visit. She was dying, of lung cancer. I knew it but she didn't know that I knew. She'd come to see me before she died. She sat in a chair, back to the river. We were in a clearing of some sort. Across the river was the play-ground... “Shoelace Park” or something similar. A cross between Shoelace Park and French Charlie's. She wore a dark dress and had a light, white sweater on. It blew lightly in the breeze. We'd been talking. I don't know about what, I think it was about cancer and doctors and hospitals and death. I ha to take a walk, to clear my head, my mind, my heart. I left her sitting on the chair and started to walk. She was under the impression that I had someplace that I had to go to and waited for me to come back.
I walked up the opposite side of the river, along a park-like area of lawn and some trees. A black “plastic netting” sort of fencing had been put up. It bowed in the breeze as I walked along. There were a few people there, in the park-like area. Just a few people. But in the darkness, I really couldn't tell who they were. Men, just walking along, pretty much like I was walking along.
I wanted so much to cry, to weep, to sob, but I couldn't. And as I walked along, I talked, aloud, to Mama. I told her that I knew what was happening to her. I told her that I didn't know why she wouldn't tell me what she was suffering with. “You're born and then you die.” I said, aloud, as I walked. “That's all. There's nothing in between, nothing else. It's what we do. It's what we ALL do. We're born and then we die. There's nothing else. I know this. I KNOW IT!” That was pretty much all I could say, and I said it aloud, not caring if anybody else could hear me as the strangers walked by, past me, in the opposite direction. Nobody was walking in the same direction. I was headed “North”, toward the stone bridge... (either French Charlie's or the Gun Hill Rd. bridge, that part was ambiguous). When I got to the bridge, it was full of people... Black people. They were having some kind of picnic or party. Everybody was eating fried chicken. There were adults and kids and they'd packed the bridge and were even sitting up on the wall. I had to climb up on the wall to walk by them. They were playing music and laughing and having a grand time. As I stepped up onto the wall of the bridge, they started leaving, giving me room so that just before I got half-way across, I could come down off the wall and continue on the bridge. I waited, giving them the space and opportunity to pass. They smiled at me and said “Hi.” as I walked and they left. And they left, in the opposite direction. Nobody was moving in the same direction as I was walking.
On the other side, I walked back along the river and back to Mama. She was still sitting in the chair, in a clearing, on compacted soil. She was comfortable sitting there, as if it was suppose to be like that. And it was even darker now. There was some light coming from some-where. A misty sort of dim, white light, coming from the direction of the trees off the side of the river bank.
The sadness in my heart, seeing here sitting there alone, was SO PAINFUL! To see her here, with me, knowing that she'd come to see me, it was INCREDIBLY HEAVILY PAINFUL IN MY CHEST! Knowing that as she sat there, she was being devoured by cancer... eaten alive by cancer. The PAIN of the SADNESS was SO HEAVY! She was dying, even as she sat there, with me.
She didn't turn to look at me and she spoke, quietly:
“You're born and then you die.” she told me. “That's all. There's nothing else. There's nothing in between. There's nothing else. You're born and then you die. But there's no sense being sad or sorry about it. There's nothing else. It's what we do. It's what we ALL do.”
I stood, in silence, beside her, not saying or showing that I knew about her cancer. I waited for her to tell me. She smiled a bit and said “I smell biscuits. What is it?”
“Black people.” I said, just as a matter of fact.
As I said so, sure enough, a family, Black woman, tall, slender, well-dressed and groomed, with 3 or 4 little girls, also finely dressed, came along the other bank, across from us. They were laughing, smiling, and they had baskets of biscuits and bowls of chips. One little girl came over, across a bridge, to give some to Mama. Mama smiled and thanked the little girl and the little one went scurrying back to her family.
“Oh, that smells so good.” Mama said, delighted.
It got much darker rather suddenly, and very silent. Mama started to speak after the silence. She spoke, SO ANGRILY!
“You see this fucking shit? You see this fucking shit? THIS is what they did to me! This is what they're telling me!DO YOU SEE THIS FUCKING SHIT? THIS IS WHAT THEY'RE DOING TO ME!”
She would say “what” was being “done to her” and she wouldn't say “who”. But I knew she meant the doctors. And she didn't know that I knew about the cancer and I didn't tell her. I let her tell me what she wanted me to know.
The PAIN! The horrible PRESSURE on my chest, in my heart, my soul, my being. It suffocated me. It was a weight on my chest. It was a miserably heavy weight, suffocating me... the weight of knowing and for some reason not being able to tell her that I knew along with the knowing that there was nothing that I COULD do, for her, to “save” her, to make it easier for her to bear, or to make it all simply “not be”. It was all SO HEAVY, so burdensome, so painful.
I watched the grey, cement, “Romanesque” building move off into the distance behind the bus as I looked out the back window. The “Dollar Savings Bank”. It was night... late night. A mixture of snow and rain fell from the night sky.
“That's nice,” I thought as I watched the bank move father away, “at least it's the Dollar bank and not the Dime. She deserved better than a dime.” I was leaving.
Mama was dead. She'd died there, on a bed, in the empty parking lot, in the night, in the snow/rain that was falling as I left. She'd died there and that's where she was to be left. I was on a bus, alone, and I was leaving.
The bus pulled into a bus depot. I changed buses and got onto a commuter sort of bus, like a Short Line or Greyhound. I was heading for Beacon or some-where around there. And it was night, snow/rain falling all around. When I got on the bus, I saw my reflection in the window. My hat was covered in slushy snow. I turned the brim down and let the slush drop down my back. A little when down my neck.
An elderly woman standing in front of me, in the row of seats in front of me, saw the slush fall from my hat and glanced out the window and said, to everybody on the bus and to nobody at all “Look what we're going to have for CHRISTMAS!” referring to the snow. she said, into her mobile phone. And the bus rolled along, we came to an intersection. The road turned to the right and just beyond the turn, it forked. I tried to look out the front window but in the dark and the snow/rain I couldn't quite make out the street sign. The name of the street, in a script-like print, with the name of some city in New Jersey. “Where ARE we?” I asked nobody in particular.
“167th Street.” some woman's voice called to me.
“167th Street? In what city?” I asked. I some-how knew we were in New Jersey, and that we had to pass through New Jersey to get to where I was heading, but I was suddenly un-sure of being on the right bus.
I woke... just woke from the dream... no panic or pain... just woke at 1.42.
Saturday, 5 March 2016
*** NEW PAGES ***
2013, 2014 & 2015 ARCHIVES
Instead of letting this page run into some insane abyss, I was inspired to "Archive" the previous years' entries for reference... probably mostly my own (since I'm rather insane about keeping a Journal... as can be seen in the two books I've published), but for others as well.
MANY SINCERE THANKS to those of you who come by to keep up with the almost sparse up-dates here.
SO VERY MANY SINCERE THANKS to those of you who "share" or "re-tweet" or "re-post" information on the books from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Tsu, Ello, and all the other social media places I can be found. (For a complete listing, please check the "On-Line" page and come join me!)
And WITH FULL HEART AND SOUL, VERY SPECIAL THANKS to those of you who've read either "Journal Days" (which is previewed here... click and you'll be taken to the preview page) or "Bitter-Sweet Bitterness" (which will be previewed in the week to come). THANK YOU SO ESPECIALLY MUCH!
Meanwhile, for those of you who want to, enjoy the "Archives".
And as always... PLEASE KEEP IN TOUCH on the "Contacts & Comments" page. It's WONDERFUL being able to communicate and correspond! Wednesday, 24 February 2016
TWO NEW ITEMS:
It's truly wonderful when a work that's so personal is honoured with great reviews and as I see here, on the "freado" reviews page, "Journal Days" has been very well received indeed! 3,5 stars out of a possible 5! Considering the subject matter and the class of material, I have to say that I'm humbled and SO appreciative! Along with the "reviews" and comments that have been posted here, on the "Contact & Comments" page, to see this book rated so highly is, to me, just amazing! The best that I can say is: THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! It means the world to me, not only because my work is being praised but that the voices of those in shelters all around the world are being heard, and they're touching hearts and souls. And THAT is THE MOST important issue of all. Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH!
• As for Item 2: "On-Line" has been up-dated today and Internet presence is now up to 14 places and pages! Thanks go out to "Writers.net", a site for, as they themselves say "Writers, Editors, Agents, Publishers". Having my bio and such accepted by them is truly quite a privilege and an honour.
These are exciting messages to post with you all. Thank you, for reading, for appreciating and to those of you who do, THANK YOU for posting, re-posting and "sharing" the message of this book! You're not just doing so for me, but you're making a strong social statement to the world and bring the other-wise silent voices of the Homeless to the ears, and hopefully the hearts and souls of more and more people. Homelessness will unfortunately never cease, especially not in our life-time. But by and with your compassion, perhaps, hope will burn a little brighter and by getting the word out, Homeless people will be better understood and suffer just a bit less. There are many cities and towns that are actually legislating that the Homeless be treated as *criminals*. It isn't bad enough that so many are bused away under cover of darkness from the cities in which they reside, but now, in addition to the hardships of Homelessness, many will go forward with *criminal records*, and all because they have no place to call "Home". Maybe, with the help of this book and "Bitter-Sweet Bitterness" that will all be brought to and end. And with the support of you who read and get the word out there, Homeless people will be able to live on... as people ... not criminals. Thank you again... Thank you all.
Monday, 22 February 2016
SUPER NEWS! "Promotional Excerpts" from books are NOW AVAILABLE RIGHT HERE! Not the entire book, but chapters or parts of chapters so you can "get a feel" for what the book actually contains. AND, from the page where the "Promo" is presented, there's a link to the "Purchase" page so you don't have to search all around. "Click"... and you have your "Promo" to read. "Click"... and you can shop. Quicker and easier than most other Shop At Home" sites.
Under "Books & Other Literary Bits" is a page, "Promos & Previews", where you can read, right here, "PDF"s, which is the file type of the actual book. You don't have to travel around the Internet, just "click" and in another "browser window" your promotional edition will be brought directly to you. Nothing will be down-loaded to your reader/computer. It's all right here. (But when you get the whole book, you can read it just about any-where: Kindle, Nook, lap-top, desk-top, even most "smart phones" - un-like some other formats that are valid only on specific readers).
For right now, "Journal Days" is posted and ready for your reading. And as more excerpts are compiled, they'll be added.
ENJOY! HAVE A READ. The "Promos" will be about 30 pages, including the cover and actual "Table Of Contents" but there's enough to give you a great idea of what's between the covers.
Friday, 19 February 2016
“Bitter-Sweet Bitterness” has returned!
The un-censored, original journal is once again available. However, it is now published in the format originally intended, clean, annotated, illustrated, and in PDF format so it is now readable on a wide variety of "readers" including tablets, lap-tops and even "smart phones".
This is the version that was supposed to have been published but, because of time constraints and a thwarted attempts at prohibiting proper publication, the edition that had gone to press was disappointing to most, including the author.
MONTHS of work, often 14-20 hour days have gone into this presentation and now, The Promise made to my Shelter-mates, particularly Aziz and Rey has been fulfilled. We can all rest now knowing that the factual account of daily existence in only one of THOUSANDS of shelters around the world can be learned by every-one! *Warning*: This edition is not for the "easily disturbed" nor for the faint of heart. It is the compilation of the the raw notes as they were written. BUT, a "calmer" version of the very same content is available for the mature young adults and older under the volume entitled "Journal Days" which has, so far, been wonderfully received by many readers and is available at the same Internet location (also in PDF format and like-wise illustrated with original graphics).
Thanks to you all for your support and even MORE for your compassion and interest in these works. Discussion of these works has brought a better understanding of Homelessness, from the human beings who truly do suffer through the politics of the matter. And the compassion for those who, due to no fault of their own, have confronted and still confront the hardship of having no place to call "home".
Both eBooks are available at:
which you can visit by clicking HERE.
Note: Excerpts will be available here in the very near future, but there is a "rough" excerpt currently available for review HERE.
Tuesday, 9 February 2016
“Bitter-Sweet Bitterness”, the actual journal of 16 months in a shelter for the Homeless, was taken out of publication for several months and is now under-going a very serious and stringent re-write. Before month's end, it will be available again, this time in its originally-intended format, illustrated with the sketches that were very much a part of the original notes and in a “PDF” format so that almost everybody who wishes to read and learn may do so.
I have to admit that the first publication was made available in a bit of haste, under duress and impossible time constraints. The manuscript had to be compiled, formatted and edited, and the matter of publishing a first “e-book”, in addition to all of the other work necessary was daunting, to say the very least. An unrealistic dead-line was imposed, editors who'd promised to read and check spelling and grammar didn't bother and merely sent word that it was “perfect”, “wonderful”, and “nothing needs changing”... “ready to go”. It “went”... and very shortly there-after, the computer I was working on was snatched in what can only be described as a “shock raid”.
The book that had been born in chaos and turmoil went out to the world in very much the same manner. All that I could do from that point forward was blindly hope that those who cared enough to read it wouldn't be disgusted. Apparently they weren't. BUT... the fact of the matter was: what was made available to the reader was in no way appropriate, nor did it do any justice to the subject matter. When I finally got to read, for myself, the finished product, I was disappointed and disgusted, not only with the book, but with those who'd failed as 'editors” and simply lied about it's presentation. It all but insulted the subject matter, the people to whom the work had been promised and dedicated and me, myself.
We live... we learn.
Thankfully, to a great extent, the material brought the intended message to those who received the “first print” edition. And, for the most part, it was, in fact, well received. Oh yes, it did receive one rather poor “review” when made available on “amazon.com” for “Kindle” readers. And on a public internet forum, the very same “pseudo-critic” posted a threat to engage in litigation against me because, indeed and true to form, names are named with regard to factual matters. (The attempted scathing review remained... the threat was short-lived and has since disappeared.)
However, although the promise of publication had been fulfilled, the presentation was never as it was originally intended. The book was removed from publication some months ago and has under-gone a re-write/re-make so that it better presents the truth, the honesty and the facts of daily existence of those who turn, in desperation, to what they can only hope will be human compassion... and the “Homeless Shelter” system.
Be careful though: it is NOT “censored”... it is merely “edited”. Vernacular is very much present, as are the grammar errors, inconsistencies in time and place, and notes written in the delirium of probable lead poisoning. It is, as it was originally described, “raw”. But it need be, because there is no way to honestly portray the existence of people who have been abandoned by so-called and self-proclaimed “friends” in a pleasant manner. And there is no way to “delightfully” convey the emptiness one experiences when “family” turns their back, after plunging a knife into the heart of relatives, and relegates them to the sympathies of paid strangers.
This said, please watch for the notices of the next publication. They'll appear here, on this blog, as well as on social media: The links to where the postings can be found are on the "ON-LINE" page so I encourage you all to keep an eye on THIS page for the primary notice and then to check around to all the other venues.
Meanwhile, I want to express my utmost gratitude to WordPress for making this blog available and a most welcome reality and for making the original digital-format of the journal available because with-out WordPress, not only would this experience have been lost, but I can truthfully say that the experience would have been MUCH MUCH more difficult to endure.
I want to thank Twitter as well, for being kind and compassionate and for giving me the chance to communicate with SO MANY WONDERFUL people around the world! I started on Twitter some 8 years ago... and even to this very moment, I am STILL in touch with most of those people who followed me and my rants and raves from my little metal-framed bed, through the day I left the Shelter behind... and as I say, even up to this very moment. I thank Twitter... and I thank all those who have been “friends” through the course of this experience.
In closing this entry, I also want to express my repulsion with/for/at “Facebook” to whom I turned on a recommendation from others to help promote the book, the work, and the matter of “Homelessness”. Over the course of perhaps little more than a year, Facebook has made many attempts at silencing me, censoring my posts and even “authors” have played part in repeated barrages of insults and lies... with the support of “the Facebook team”. But, as a “Homeless” person, I was subjected to similar and even more serious attacks... and “Bitter-Sweet Bitterness” is still very much alive... and today I am here, posting this message. Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk obviously harbour ill-sentiments toward the Homeless , but although hate might silence some, there are others who will survive. I maintain my presence on Facebook primarily to keep the issue in the public eye as much and to the greatest extent possible... and will continue to do so for as long as there is breath in my lungs. I'm certain that precious little would bring more delight to Zuckerberg and his merry little band of ne'er-wish-wells than to simply know that I've gone and disappeared... in silence. But, as I recently read, in a post on Facebook: If we stop offending, the terrorists win, pal! I'm not a “terrorist”... I'm on the “winning” side of the battle.
Thanks again, as always, for coming by and reading. And as always, please know that I appreciate your correspondences and yes, indeed, I DO read and I DO reply! Meanwhile, if you'd like a direct notice of when “Bitter-Sweet Bitterness” is available again, drop me a line... and you'll be the first to know.
Wishing you all much contentment... and as has always been and always will be... hoping that my old “Shelter-mates” are safe, sound, comfortable and content. (I miss you guys!)
|Friday 29 January 2016 WHEN AND WHERE WILL THIS STOP? - FACEBOOK CENSORSHIP A notice of fair warning to Authors and Writers: There is a group on Facebook that is responsible for the censorship of authors who post about their books if and when any member of the group is displeased with the content or subject matter of the book and/or when the author expresses personal opinions that conflict with the group leader or members. DO AVOID the group and its members for your own sake and likewise be advised that Facebook SUPPORTS this group, so DO beware of Facebook, lest you too be censored. The malicious Facebook group can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/179494068820033/|
Tuesday 12 January 2016|
A MOST DISTURBING DEVELOPMENT - FACEBOOK CENSORSHIP
Disconcerting and disappointing as it is to report, yours truly has, once again, fallen victim to the “Censor Stasi” not only of the Facebook idiots but, much to my chagrin, at the hands of, of ALL people, another “Author”!
To think that an “Author” could be capable of such atrocities is repulsive. I mean that I can only hope that the perpetrator him/her self befalls the very same punitive actions, but with regard to his/her own works. I will not pretend to be “the kinder person” nor “the better man” about this. I will not be the hypocrite that this insipid little bit of waste obviously is. Censoring a person in any manner is, at best, infantile, immature and indicative of a complete absence of maturity and an ability to take responsibility for one's own self. It actually frightens me to know that such feeble-mindedness is roaming freely amongst what little of sane, rational and logical thinkers there are remaining on this planet of ours. These “things” (because they're certainly not worthy of being referred to as “people” in any fashion) are an absolute threat to society as a whole and, it most certainly is in the best interest of humanity to ensure that such “things” are gathered, by what-ever means necessary and taken out of the pro-creating populace and placed in strictest confinement.
Imagine being able to impose one's own beliefs upon another person! This is nothing short of equality with the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Baby Doc and that ilk of tyrants, dictators and such. And it's nothing less than psychotic behaviour, being supported by the likes of what is supposed to be “Social Media”, particularly “Facebook”! Nightmarishly, when “Authors” are threatened by other “Authors”, there is no end to the “Banned Books” atrocities.
Then again, I do suppose that I am complimented, having joined the rank and file of the likes of J.D. Salinger whose “Catcher In The Rye” has been, for SO many years, considered, amongst the better educated and higher class, to be “Classic”. So from that perspective I must politely thank the simpleton who is responsible for the orchestration of this affront. My books haven't been “banned”, but my writings have been, effectually. I have become “Classic”. How wonderful for me!
As for “Facebook”? Well, obviously this piddling bit of “Social Trash” is maintained by those of an equally inferior mind and mind-set. But we all must face a reality: In spite of the little messages that users receive claiming that there is some sort of “Review Committee” on staff, Facebook is nothing more nor less than some automated bit of metal and silicone, humming away in some interior core room, devoid of natural day-light and fresh air. It's nothing other than a programmed bit of recycled soda cans and water bottles, a “Mother-board”, in such terms and those implied and obvious, bolted and glued to the inside of a recycled metal box. Your trash at work. And as for the programming, the best descriptive can only be that some pasty little in-breed, undesirable and sexless, with failing eye-sight and acridly bad breath, has chosen to lock his/her psychotic and worthless being in a chambre some-where, out of the sight of the healthy and well-balanced population, where, in his/her miserable little existence, the capability to mete revenge on those of us who are active amongst society, capable of free thought and creativity presents itself by means of “punishing” us for having a life that can be enjoyed, in contrast with the miserable existence of that lonely, dark and dank little bit of “thing” whom the rest of the world rejoices knowing that it is locked away, out of reach. While we go about our daily routines of work, play, communicating with one-another, the ultimate little loser shies away from the light of the natural sun, the breezes, waters and other such pleasantries that are “the World” always aware and mindful of the fact that the very sight of him/her is utterly repulsive to the rest of the population of this planet.
As much can be said for the “thing” that pro-actively censors the expression of thoughts of a person.
They are delusional, these “Censors”. They truly believe that they are omnipotent and that they are endowed by some “Greater Power” with the right and ability to silence those whose thinking conflicts with their packing-peanut mentalities. Well, thankfully there truly are other venues available to those of us who are still capable of thought at all, who can enjoy innuendo, sarcasm, hyperbole (RUN TO GOOGLE, FACEBOOKERS... I know these words may as well be Sanskrit) and the likes, AND who are able to think above and beyond a single dimension.
Meanwhile, I will not wait for the “curtain of silence” to be lifted. I am already seeking and using alternative methods and means to communicate with the few and precious thinking people who are remain viable, productive and an absolute asset to Creation... and Humanity.
But beware... one and all, because when Writers battle with Writers, Authors against Authors, and make any attempt to silence and censor one another... free speech and honest education are seriously at risk. Be mindful of whose words reach you, be always aware of the fact that there are those pasty little in-bred virus-like entities who revel in your silence. And always be prepared, ready, willing and able to defend yourselves and those dear to you against the onslaught and war raging against ALL thinking, creative and productive beings.
How disappointed I am that I am unable to physically confront my little nemesis, because there is SO much that I'd like to engage in so that I too, can enjoy the reciprocity of the consideration that I have experienced. Let us say, poetically: God gave man the materials to produce the likes of lead pipes and munitions, and like-wise the knowledge of how to best use such things. I am today thankful for the gifts and their availability and would gladly demonstrate my abilities on those who strive to deny me and impose their blatant inferiority upon me and others like me. And to be clear: YES, this is an invitation to engage in confrontation... NO, there is no “implied” threat. So DO, if you are the one responsible, make yourself known (and stop hiding your face in the laps of the infested little creatures of Facebook), and let's have this out to the end.
Oh yes... lest I be impolite... Have a nice day.
***** FOLLOW-UP RECEIVED TODAY FROM FACEBOOK *****
We review reports carefully to make sure we take the correct action. We'll remove something from Facebook if it goes against our Community Standards:
Please keep in mind that something you don't like on Facebook might not go against our Community Standards. Visit the Help Center to learn how you can avoid content you don't like on Facebook:
Please note that we can't retract reports once we've taken action (ex: removed reported content).
View updates from your Support Inbox:
Thanks for your understanding,
What issue are you trying to report?: Other
-----End Original Message-----
***** MY RESPONSE/REPLY *****
Indeed I agree with the removal of certain materials posted on accounts. However, I use Facebook primarily as a source of communications with other independent authors and publishers. This is a major contributing factor to my income and livelihood. And, as a published author, I too am offended by the views and thoughts of others. However, when I am offended, I simply "block" the offender and am on with my life.
I object to the fact that Facebook chose to remove something posted to my account without so much as the common courtesy of notifying me and allowing ME to remove it (as had been done once previously).
Surely you too find certain statements and opinions offencive to you, and surely you would appreciate the opportunity to address, in open and intelligent dialogue the issue with the offended party.
But what has been done here is simply an infantile "knee-jerk" response, and punitive beyond description. Not to mention, detrimental to my efforts and profession.
I am to understand that Facebook prides itself on being "professional" and this censorship is contradictory to that claim.
It is, instead, the biased imposition of one party's beliefs upon others, and I am more than certain that you and ALL at Facebook would resent having the ethics and beliefs on someone imposed on any of you.
I have read the "Community Standards". I am also personally familiar with other users of Facebook who have stolen the identities of others and have been reported... Facebook refused to address that infraction. Likewise, I am personally familiar with TWO accounts/users who were publicly accused of being "child-molestors", a blatant lie, and this too was reported to Facebook and allowed.
I look forward to a justification of these two issues as they have proven to be quite detrimental to the victimised parties and such a "policy" reflects poorly on Facebook. Yes, indeed, I am most interested in hearing/reading Facebook's position on willingly participating in the defamation of others and enabling such behaviour.
Thankfully, there are other venues available to me to support and continue in my professional goals and I will be most delighted in sharing with my readers, my experiences here, with Facebook via all available venues. I am, above all else, an honest, forthright and trustworthy person who quickly disseminates factual and provable information... including and certainly not limited to the trustworthiness of Facebook.
Thank you for your reply and I look forward to any further correspondence and a just rectification of the injustice that has been, thus far, meted against me. Know, however, that my trust and faith in Facebook has been brutally damaged and that I will no longer support the claim that anybody should feel comfortable using it.